Focus on Leadership

The Focus on Leadership series provides seminars and events to help councillors in their existing roles and provide a bridge to more senior leadership positions.

Focus on Leadership events include; The Young Councillor's weekender, BAME Councillor's Weekender and Effective Opposition – supporting councillors to build valuable networks with peers from across the country.

Who is the Focus on Leadership series for?

The Focus on Leadership series is open to councillors who are interested in making links with others in a similar position or situation.


These vary depending on the event, please get in touch for more information.

Forthcoming Focus on Leadership events include:

Effective opposition

This programme, aimed at opposition leaders and deputy leaders, is designed to help participants to get a better understanding of how they can enhance the effectiveness of their role in leading an opposition group on their council.

It will focus on a range of relevant topics, skills and techniques, including building good working relationships with key officers, engaging with external stakeholders, working with the local media and getting the most out of social media.

The programme will provide a unique, cross-party opportunity for participants to explore the nature of effective opposition and gain some insights into their personal leadership and influencing styles. 

Programme 12: Thursday 30 September – Friday, 1 October 2021
Programme 13: Saturday 22 January – Sunday 23 January 2022

Both programmes will take place at Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The cost for attending this two-day residential event is only £150, which covers the cost of accommodation, meals, tuition and materials.

Young Councillors' Weekender

This popular annual event is a must for young councillors, aged 40 and under, who are interested in building their knowledge, skills and councillor network.

Now in its fourteenth year, the Weekender is designed to provide learning and development around some of the key issues and challenges for all young councillors, and a unique opportunity to meet and network with colleagues from across the political spectrum and across the country.

An opportunity to meet, socialise and problem-solve with other young councillors

Some quotes from past attendees

“The 2-day event was excellent with high quality speakers and provided some real insight into the challenges of being a young councillor. It was really good in enhancing my skills and helping me progress.”

“A must for every young councillor – really affirming. You go away inspired and full of purpose.”

“This is a fantastic weekend to not only grow as a councillor but also to learn and meet newly elected councillors like yourself.”

“I didn’t want the weekend to end. I was never bored and left feeling more confident about my ability to do my job.”

“There is just so much that you can learn, you will definitely go away a better councillor.”

This year’s programme will include plenary sessions lead by experts in the field of leadership and leading member peers covering personal development and some of the key current issues and challenges for all councillors. Some of the workshops choices will be:

  • Navigating Political Groups Dynamics
  • Managing your Mental Health
  • Decision making
  • “Financing an uncertain future”       
  • Question Time: ‘Hot Topics’ – a chance for you to pose questions, problems and burning issues and put them to a panel of experienced councillors to hear how they might tackle them and also learn from fellow delegates who might have been in the same situation

Date: Saturday 13 November - Sunday 14 November 2021 - Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4, 7SH

Fee: The event starts on Saturday morning at 9.30am and finishes early afternoon at 3.30pm on Sunday. We are keen to ensure as many young councillors as possible can benefit from this opportunity, so we have held the cost of attending at just £150 per person. This covers the cost of accommodation, meals, tuition and materials for the 2 days. There is an additional charge of £50 for those of you who wish to join us for dinner and stay overnight at the venue on Friday 12th November.

Women Councillors’ Weekender

During the pandemic, councillors have needed to work in new ways – with Zoom meetings and remote committees meaning much less face-to-face contact – the benefits of a supportive network of fellow councillors can be a real asset. This cross-party two-day event will provide opportunity for women councillors to network and share experiences and stories with each other. The programme will focus on a number of skills including communication, personal resilience and the power of building an effective network.

Date: Saturday, 4 December – Sunday, 5 December 2021
          Starting at 12.00 midday – finishing with lunch at 1.00pm   
          Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The cost for attending is £150 for the 2-day residential event which includes accommodation, meals, and all learning materials.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Councillors Weekender Event

The annual leadership Programme for Black, Asian and minority ethnic elected members continues to be one of the longest running and successful events in the LGA leadership calendar.

Established in 2004, the programme provides a unique learning and networking opportunity for elected members from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are committed to developing their leadership effectiveness and in many cases, their careers. Helping councillors in their existing roles and providing a bridge to more senior leadership positions are key aims of all the leadership programmes and the LGA recognises that a core part of this has to be ensuring a better representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic councillors at senior and influential levels nationally.

The next event is scheduled for 9 - 10 October 2021. This will be a leadership masterclass that will incorporate ‘leading-edge’ learning interventions and debates facilitated by excellent facilitators with significant experience in the leadership field. There will be conceptual and practical explorations of the notion of ‘leadership’ across a range of fronts - but with a particular focus on preparing participants for leading roles in communities and councils. All of this will be contextualised by exploring the opportunities and challenges that will confront elected members, and in particular those of Black, Asian and minority ethnic heritage in our increasingly complex and fast-changing environment.

October Programme: Saturday, 9 October - Sunday, 10 October 2021 
Starting at 12.00 midday – finishing with lunch at 1.00pm    
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4, 7SH

February Programme: Saturday, 19 February – Sunday, 20 February 2022
Warwick Conferences, Coventry CV4 7SH

Fee: The cost for attending this two-day residential event is only £150.

Grace Collins
Telephone: 020 7664 3054